Coronavirus Chronicles: March 31, 2020
Feeling The Burn Of Cabin Fever
As I write this, I am wrapped in a plush silver blanket on our family sofa. My 2 year old daughter and 4.75 year old puppy are napping behind me. Like all mothers, I am relieved because this means I finally have free time.
In the last 24 hours
- the President of the United States announced that the Stay-At-Home order is being extended past April 7th to April 30.
- the Govenor of Illinois announced that the Stay-At-Home order is being extended past April 7th to April 30 as well.
- 16 Tinley Park resident cases of COVID-19 were reported (Apparently COVID-19 was spread unintentionally at the local St. Patrick Parade. If that is in fact the case, then thank goodness my husband and I decided not to be on the Village float this year).
- 22nd Century Media closed today— they were the parent company of many local newspapers (Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, the publisher had been struggling these last few years unfortunatley).
- The Tinley Junction closed today (a 22nd Century newspaper).
Gosh, my family has been in the Tinley Park Junction a bunch of times. First, when Sammie our dog came into our lives. Next, when our business celebrated 10 years in business. Then two years ago when I was intereviewed about this mom blog. A month later we were in the Junction when we made Eileah’s birth announcement. And then lastly, when Eileah made the front page because she was in a movie.
We’re all so eager for some good news, but so far it just seems like we’re still on that “worse before it gets better” part of this odyssey. And masks are being recommended for everyone to wear when going out for groceries, etc. Not just those who have contracted the virus or those most vulnerable to contracting it.
You can follow me on social media for all the latest vetted updates on Coronavirus and Tinley Park. Here’s the link to my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tinleyparkmom/
Since my last entry, the last three days we’ve really been starting to feel cabin fever at our home. We are starting to feel the burn as the saying goes.
I chose the photos above to humorously illustrate our situation because a) I developed a slight crush on the late actor Peter O’Toole when I was 13, so I’m very familiar with his range in portaying agony b) the photos perfectly capture what most of us in the world are feeling being cooped up at home. You wake up feeling like you are trapped and you wish you could have some space from the people you’re living with like you used to be able to do. It is natural to want some space, without space you become like molecules bouncing off of each other.
I’ve noticed more strands of my hair on the floor. I’m clenching my jaw more when I sleep. I’m craving Starbucks more than usual. I’ve resumed watching The Golden Girls (a.k.a comfort TV for me). I’m letting my daughter jump in puddles when we go for walks; and apparently I’m not the only parent. I’ve seen countless Facebook photos or videos from friends where their little ones are jumping in puddles and getting muddy. We are embracing the lack of control over our world by letting our kids get away with a few more things than usual.
Thankfully going on walks and biking are permitted, but it’s stressful at times, especially at the end of those outings.
With a 2 year old I have to direct her away from the path to our park (all parks and forest reserves are closed), from going up to people, from going to ask to pet someone’s puppy…she gets mad, she gets sad, and I feel bad. I worry that if the stay-at-home mandate goes on for a year that the next generation will grow up anti-social. Of course I’m probably blowing this out of proportion, but this is such an unfortunate way to live right now.
One day over the weekend when we were walking home from a nice long walk, one of two little brothers who were out playing in front of their yard shouted at us “you’re not supposed to be here. Go away!” The other brother, slightly older by all appearances, corrected him and said “no, it’s ok. They’re not doing anything wrong.” Eileah our daughter and I picked up the pace and she said in that cute little voice “Sorry.” My heart broke. We were just walking home on a sidewalk. Maybe if we had been walking on the sidewalk across the street that little boy wouldn’t have done that. But that illustrates how this pandemic is effecting some youth.
The general consensus was always that the internet was making it difficult for people to connect with eachother, but it feels to me like this Coronavirus is alienating the world. The internet in fact is seeing record use. Social media is becoming an IV of sorts that’s helping people fool around like we used to in grade school, sharing silly quiz results, challenging each other in truth or dare like games. This was a fun one where you add gifs as answers and then share your results in an Instagram or Facebook Story.
Grant you I am still working. When you can’t go out and get together with others, social media is one of the mediums you use these days to stay connected and entertain yourself.
Sidenote, but we are really blessed that our business has not been impacted by the pandemic so far. For those of you who don’t know, my husband and I own our own internet/digital marketing agency called Geoffresh (pronounced Jef-Fresh).
Living Like We’re Over The Rainbow
Over the weekend there were thunderstorms, and there was actually risk for large hail and tornadoes. Luckily they didn’t come to be for Tinley, but other parts of the Midwest were effected.
The eternal great irony about storms are the rainbows that follow them. Some beautiful photos were submitted by people to local news stations of a celestial rainbow. One in particular taken by Nick Brun.
This morning is the third day I took the girls out for a car ride. We drove all the way to Silver Cross Hospital and then took a long way home. We jammed to some good music and I’d open the window each time our dog Sammie wanted to stick her head out the passanger seat window. I wish we could go somewhere though…stop somewhere and walk, explore, and not be afraid of being arrested. But we have to protect each other, we can’t take risks. Even if we don’t have COVID-19, you follow the rules because you want others to do the same.
Look what I just got:
It’s good that we are being challenged to come up with things to entertain ourselves. Many of us don’t always make time for the things we would like. And more people are going outside to walk and bike than I’ve ever seen. The air smells fresher outside. We’re spending more time with each other. There are draw backs of course, the cabin fever, the frustration with each other with our close quarters in this quarantine. But as generations before us have done, the best way to get through a storm is to lives as though you are over the rainbow. It’s funny talking about rainbows since St. Patrick’s Day was just a few short weeks ago; the last party we had was our annual St. Patrick’s Day one. We associate rainbows with pots of gold at the ends of them, that timeless heartbreaking Judy Garland song, the LGBTQ community, and of course color: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, etc. And hope, hope eternal.
Some of us are turning to religion more than usual, some of us are turning to astrology, and so on and so forth. It’s the last day of the first month of when all these major changes were implemented because of COVID-19. Life has changed so much, how can any of us be expected to feel hopeful? I found this post from local Tinley Park business Practical Magic helpful:
Part of living like you’re on the other side of the rainbow focusing on the good, and leaving what’s in the past and what is uncontrollable in the dust. You have to let go of negativity every chance you get. Whether it’s taking long walks when your partner is able to watch your child(ren), writing, doing puzzles, watching your favorite TV shows, reading a good book, drawing, painting, reorganizing, cleaning, making things, etc. In order to survive the human race has always relied on activity to distract from negative situations.
One Thing That I’d Love To See Happen To Make Things Easier For People During The Quarantine
Wouldn’t it be great if money could be paused? Wouldn’t this be a great time to start becoming like how civilization is like in the Star Trek universe?
There’s this beautiful line from Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the movie Star Trek: First Contact (1996) that explains it:
“The economics of the future is somewhat difference. You see, money doesn’t exist in the 24th century. The acquisiton of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity.”
The reason I bring this up is because I’m afraid of hearing about people becoming homeless during this time. Right now businesses are going out of business, people are getting layed off so that businesses can stay in business, etc. To get through this pandemic we need to put a pause on some things that make it difficult to get through something like a pandemic. We can resume business as usual once we’ve weathered this storm. I don’t want to believe that world leaders, local leaders, and people in positions of power would let people lose their livelihoods when they know why things are the way they are.
To wrap this up I want to bring up a quote I was reminded of recently. It’s from a book I read a long time ago one summer as a preteen called, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. Disney adapted it into an Original Movie that was just released on the Disney+ streaming platform. This quote captures so much of what I hope for us in this time of our lives:
“The earth is speaking to us, but we can’t hear because of all the racket our senses are making. Sometimes we need to erase them, erase our senses. Then – maybe – the earth will touch us. The universe will speal. The stars will whisper.”
There are so many opportunities that this time is giving us. I want the vaccine and treatments for COVID-19 to come swiftly, like yesterday, but I also want the world as we know it to use the time that we have as we wait to make things better. Whether it’s making work from home more standard; making all mail paperless (great opportunity to create new jobs there), etc. We have the answers, we just the storm to pass so the rainbow can beam.
Tinley Park Businesses
Small businesses are a vital part of the economy. Here are links to a directory of local Tinley Park businesses that are still open during this time: